UDM leader Bantu Holomisa. Photo: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

PRETORIA – Bantu Holomisa, leader of the United Democratic Movement, found it interesting that the Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund I and II (PAIDF) was set up by Tshepo Mahloele, the former PIC head of corporate investment, while he was at the PIC, and then Harith manages the PAIDF on behalf of the PIC, where Mahloele is chief executive. 

Holomisa was making his submission to the Commission of Inquiry into alleged improprieties at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), where he urged the commission to take a closer look at Harith/Lebashe deal, headed by the former deputy minister of finance and PIC chairperson, Jabu Moleketi and Tshepo Mahloele.

Holomisa said: “Regarding Lebashe, we have been made to understand that the following information and questions are pertinent: 

  • Lebashe is made up of several companies. The key players in Lebashe are Mahloele, Moleketi and Warren Wheatley; 
  • Lebashe reportedly obtained a loan from the PIC for rapid expansion, with said loan having reportedly already repaid. This may raise questions regarding the basis for the PIC granting a loan to Lebashe when key former PIC individuals are controlling and owning Lebashe. The value of the loan is unknown; 
  • How was this loan obtained and on what terms? 
  • Lebashe had gone on to acquire large stakes in Capitec Bank, EOH and T88 Capital, but it was unclear from where the funding for these major acquisitions emanated; 
  • Lebashe has also acquired an undisclosed stake in 4 Africa Exchange, where Mahloele is a director; 
  • Lebashe operates from the same address as Harith Le. 34 Impala Road. 

Holomisa said all of these transactions with related parties might be questionable. It is unclear if these decisions were taken in compliance with the provisions of the Companies Act, and have been reported accurately in terms of IAS 24. 

“Regarding Lanseria, we have been made to understand the following: 

  • According to the PIC’s 2017 annual report, the PIC and the PAIDF collectively own 50% of Lanseria; 
  • PAIDF is currently being managed by Harith; 
  • Lanseria Holdings owns the remaining 50%; 
  • Mr Mahloele is a director of Lanseria Holdings; 

He told the commission that Lebashe had a Charters and Aviation Finance arm in which Mahloele was also a director. “It would be beneficial for such a company to have access to ownership in an airport when it is involved in charters and aviation finance, albeit indirectly through its director, Mahloele.” 

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